I would like to discuss patient safety and a patient safety culture in Mediclinic Potchefstroom. When we talk about patient safety in Mediclinic Potchefstroom, we’re referring to how hospitals and other healthcare organisations protect their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

Mediclinic’s logo of a square with a dot inside highlights patient centred care with the dot representing the patient. It symbolises our commitment to place the patient in the centre of everything we do and looking at our policies and procedures from the patient’s perspective

Our patient safety focus areas include reducing harm from patient falls, preventing medication errors, obstetric and newborn safety, surgical safety, correct identification of patients, preventing IV line harm, and preventing health care associated infections. These areas we are constantly monitoring. To improve patient safety a patient safety culture is needed.

Healthcare workers often do not realise that one has to actively work towards to creating a safety culture in the hospital.

The following aspects are important to create a safety culture in hospitals:

  • Patient safety focus of the management team: This is the most important part of a patient safety culture because if the management team is not actively part of and promoting patient safety, the staff will not be motivated to implement patient safety initiatives
  • Reporting system: It is important to have a user friendly and accessible reporting system to ensure staff report safety incidents.
  • Learning from safety events, what went well and what went wrong: There is no use in reporting the incident but nothing is done about it. Incidents should be investigated and the root cause determined. The outcome of the root cause, should be communicated to all staff members that learning can take place.
  • A ‘just’ culture: Staff must feel safe in order for them to report an incident. If staff feel they will be penalised or that action will be taken against them they will not report incidents. They should also not be hold accountable for errors caused because of system failures.
  • Standardised policies and procedures: This is the road map indicating how things are supposed to work and what is expected from staff
  • Communication with patients and visitors: Communication is an important part of patient safety. More communication and information to patients will make them feel safer in the hospital.

Through building a strong safety culture in our hospital, Mediclinic Potchefstroom can become our community’s hospital of choice.